Follow in Nigel's Footsteps

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Friday, 26 October 2012

Black Redstart, Chard

At least one, possibly two black reds flitting nervously around my close yesterday evening. This one stayed still long enough for a few snaps. Apologies for the quality but they were taken through glass and as you can see, the weather wasn't great!




This is a patch tick for me - not seen one here before in six years.

Sunday, 21 October 2012

Subalpine warbler

Great views of the 1st winter male subalpine warbler at Avalanche road on Portland this morning. Showed down to about 15 feet and managed a grotty record photo before it disappeared into the undergrowth. It was just after first light, so too dark for a decent picture but you can see what it is.


Also, near the quarry above Pensilvania castle: pair of blackcap, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 buzzard.
Behind Foundry close: 1 firecrest, 2 goldcrest and 1 Chiffchaff.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

First redwings in the mist and drizzle today.

I've been religiously trekking up over the local stubble fields for the past three weeks, hoping to flush something interesting, but to no avail. A walk up over this morning in mist and rain produced good numbers of meadow pipits though with C100 in a flock close to the house. Despite a diligent look I couldn't make any into RTP (or anything other than mipits). In addition a mixed flock of 200 rooks and Jackdaws were making a noise, 3 skylark, 5 goldfinch and 25 redwing - my first of the autumn.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Something scarce in the bird hide...

No, not a real birder with bins 'n' all (sorry for the dig mums with pushchairs...not) but a spider. A spider called Lariniodes sclopetarius. Described in the Collins Guide as 'very locally distributed throughout England and Wales and generally rather uncommon.' Not in Chard Res bird hide, loads of them in there! Anyone who visits the hide regularly will have noticed them getting out of the way as bins and scopes get pushed through the viewing windows but this little chap (see photo below) is quite a good find. They are always found near water (they got that right) and are sometimes given the English name of 'bridge spider' or 'grey-cross spider'. This was a smaller one - some are just enormous!

Larinioides sclopetarius

Larinioides sclopetarius

Click on the 'Spider' page link on the right for a few more recent photos.

Love 'em or hate 'em, they are all around us and there are plenty of good spiders to be seen when the birds are scarce.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Spotted Crake, Greylake RSPB

Juvenile showed well but briefly at 8:10 this morning on the first lagoon from the car park. Seen again briefly at 9:45 and video taken.




Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Buff-breasted sandpiper on Hay Moor

Shot out to see this little chap in my lunch hour today. What a great find by Tom Raven and just a week or so after finding a lesser yellowlegs in the same spot!

Not so very good video clip of this lovely juvenile bird can be found here: http://youtu.be/NlhTrqGwRUA

Monday, 1 October 2012

Araneus diadematus...and friend

Everyone is familiar with these large orb web spiders but the variation in colour always amazes me. They are just about everywhere at the moment and some of them are pretty big too!






This little chap is closely related too, although they grow to a similar size, this one was only 5mm long in body length - Nuctenea umbratica - found around most gardens, usually under bark or, as in this case, improvising with my garden fence.



Short-billed Dowitcher

I actually saw the Lodmoor bird a few weeks back after returning from Canada - nice of it to wait :-)

Hadn't bothered uploading pics as it was too distant for photos and I knew they'd look like this, but here's one anyway:


No, I know that's a drake Mallard...it's standing next to it, just to the right, honest!

Somewhat closer and easier to photograph was one of the Green Sandpipers on Blackhole Marsh at the weekend.



And the obligatory Little Egret with a Shelduck...